Amoeblog

AIR FRESHENER IS NOT FRESH AIR, NOT NEARLY

Posted by Billyjam, December 18, 2007 03:54pm | Post a Comment

Yesterday I had one of those moments of uncanny coincidence -- one that makes you go 'wow' because the exact person or thing that you happen to be thinking about appears right there in front of you. Only in my case it was the thing that I was just reading about that hit my nose.

I was sitting on the bus, lost in this great article in the latest (Dec 07) issue of Arthur magazine (the one with the Amoeba Records ad on p27) about the dangers of household chemicals when this strong chemical odor hit my nose. The source of this overpowering toxic stank was the fresh nail varnish that the young mother directly behind me was applying with precision to her long fingernails. Meanwhile, the article in Arthur titled "Kick Out The Chemicals" that I had just started reading tackles this exact same topic: the toxicity dangers of everyday household products such as nail polish, hair dye, air freshener, window-glass cleaner, etc.

Equally important, this wonderful article, written by regular magazine columnist Molly Frances, also offers many safe non-toxic alternatives to these dangerous products that so many of us use daily or are exposed to daily. This list's cheaper and a million times safer alternative cleaning tools include white vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, borax, tea tree oil, cheap vodka, lavender oil (for scent), cut up rags (to avoid wasting paper towels), and an empty spray bottle.

That's all you need to clean the bathroom or kitchen floor. More than you need, in fact. Frances suggests for natural, non-toxic floor mopping to get a bucket of hot water and simply add vinegar and a drop of Bronner's (vegetable-based) soap."

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MAGIC

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 18, 2007 01:56pm | Post a Comment
There have been very, very few times in my life that I have heard a new song on the radio--  commercial radio-- that makes me stop, pull over, and turn it up. And yes, I am forced to listen to commercial radio in my car because I dont have anything but a cassette player and an AM/FM band. I'm that ghetto. But anyway, the other evening I was driving home, and I happened upon the middle of song that blew my mind. I couldn't quite place the vocals, they were male, and the arrangement was decidedly un-KFOG, the channel it was on.

Now, I'm no musical encyclopedia, but I am good at guessing who's who on the radio, especially when its the same 12 songs that they play over, and over, and over. But this time, hmmm... No. I couldn't quite place it. The refrain was magical: "The girls in their summer clothes, in the cool of the evening sky; the girls in their summer clothes, pass me by." I'll get to the melody soon, but those lyrics really got me. I love songs that can be read two ways. For example, if you listen to Cat Stevens' "Wild World" closely, he's actually not sending off his love with, er, love. No, he is being extremely passive aggressive. "The girls in their summer clothes" could also be read two ways.


  First, he is enjoying watching pretty girls walk by. And second, he is enjoying watching pretty girls walk by who are completely ignoring him because he's a loser. I love it. I listened a bit closer. Could it be? Nah... but maybe. It sort of sounded like an overproduced... Bruce Springsteen? His single from his latest album underwhelmed me, to say the least, so it couldn't be him.

Plus he never has songs that sound like that; a Phil Spector take on Big Star, in my best estimation. No, this had to be some cool indie band that was getting all Americana. I kept listening. The song told a story about a guy who gets up, puts on his jacket and heads out the door. OK, totally Springsteen.

Best Of 2007, Part 5 - Joe Bataan Live @ The Montebello Inn 6/15/07

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, December 18, 2007 12:44am | Post a Comment
joe bataan
It was straight out of a George Lopez comedy skit. It was Vatos with their ironed Pendletons and bushy moustaches, Rucas on their arms sporting painted eyebrows and short skirts, which some would say weren't "age appropriate." It was a tough looking crowd, to say the least. We waited in line outside The Montebello Inn to see the legendary Joe Bataan, The Afro-Filipino Latin King. In the 60's and 70's he released some of the best Boogaloo and Latin Soul albums on the infamous record labels Fania and Salsoul. Although Joe is from New York, he has been supplying the soundtrack to the slow and low culture of East L.A. since before I was an embryo.

The Montebello Inn is a straight-up dive, the kind of dive you only see on the outskirts of Los Angeles. All the cleaning in the world couldn't wash away the stains and memories this place has seen. My friends and I quickly got a table in the back. We didn't want to dish out the extra thirty bucks to sit in the V.I.P. area, located a mere 15 feet away from us. So, we ordered a round of the strongest margaritas I have ever had; in fact, it's a good thing smoking is banned in clubs, otherwise we would have been lit on fire every time we took a sip.

After a mediocre opening band, Joe Bataan quickly came onstage. A fifteen-piece band backed him up and I prayed they would retain that old school flavor. He and the band did not disappoint. They started off with "I Wish You Love Part 2" and launched into hit after hit. He played "Ordinary Guy," "Subway Joe," "Gypsy Women," "Latin Strut" and his version of  "Shaft." Joe sounded pristine. He hasn't suffered any deterioration in his voice that usually comes with age.

Quite buzzed, I continued to yell out my request for a recent Joe Bataan song entitled "Call My Name." I don't think that the oldies crowd was familiar with this gem, released on the Vampisoul label in 2004. My guess is that they were thinking, "Why does this guy want Joe to call out his name?"

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out today 12/18...mary j. blige...

Posted by Brad Schelden, December 17, 2007 11:36pm | Post a Comment

So we finally reached the end of the year. This is the last release date before Christmas. Christmas actually falls on a tuesday new release day this year. But since most music store are closed on Christmas there will not be anything coming out. The new Mary J. Blige album was originally scheduled to come out weeks ago. But it got pushed back until today. Today is the day for the world to hear the new Mary J. Blige. I have been going a bit crazy myself just waiting for it. I have really liked her for a long time since she first gave us her first album back in 1992. Ever since I heard "Real Love" for the first time, I have been under her spell. She is now releasing her eighth studio album titled "Growing Pains." It has been a couple of years since I really liked one of her albums. I became absolutely obsessed with "No More Drama" back in 2001. I really could not get enough of "Family Affair" and "No More Drama." The album seemed to be out forever and it sort of was. It got rereleased and repackaged in 2002 and it for sure became the album of 2002. I still have to play the song "No More Drama" anytime I find it on a jukebox. I had lost a little interest with her next album. She released "Love & Life" in 2003.  But she was back again with a great album in 2005.  "The Breakthrough" featured the great single "Be Without You." I may have not listened to it as much as "No More Drama" but it was still a great album.

The new album looks like it is going to be just as good as the last one. But more close to the level of "No More Drama." The first single off of "Growing Pains" is perfect. The song is "Just Fine" and I can't stop listening to it. The video is amazing. She changes her outfit about 20 times and looks amazing as she is reflected in mirrors and ends up singing duets with herself. I am sure the album will end up being one of the best of the year. Mary J. Blige is just one of those performers that somehow got under my skin. I just can't help loving her and her music over the years. She just makes me happy and I can't really explain it. But anybody who likes her understands what I am talking about. You just want to listen to Mary J. Blige because you know she is going to make you happy. This album is bound to do that again and remain a part of my memories for the rest of my life.

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Black Roses

Posted by phil blankenship, December 17, 2007 11:19pm | Post a Comment
 





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